Minnesota cannot just rely on federal funds to expand broadband high-speed internet service, a Blandin Foundation report shows.
CenturyLink, Consolidated Communications, Frontier Communications and Windstream Communications have received $86 million from a federal program to bring internet service to 170,355 rural homes and businesses. The report says even those who get the higher speed service will be at a slower than speed the state considers to be the minimum.
“Minnesota has set ambitious broadband speed goals that position our communities for future success,” said Bernadine Joselyn, director of public policy and engagement at Blandin.
Joselyn said that public officials need to understand that federal, state and local funds all are needed to build adequate broadband networks. Doing otherwise, she said, “will hold rural communities back from reaching the potential they imagine for themselves.”